Last week, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued its final rule to “nudge” employers to increase their efforts in preventing injuries and illnesses in the workplace.
OSHA states that the new rule will help to “modernize injury data collection to better inform workers, employers, the public and OSHA about workplace hazards.” Under the final rule, employers who are subject to OSHA’s reporting regulations will be required to submit recorded injury and illness data to OSHA to be published on their website. OSHA will remove all personally identifiable information (PII) prior to public release, including the employee name, employee address, name of the physician/health care professional, or the healthcare facility name and address if treatment was received away from the work site.
Additionally, the rule requires employers to inform employees of their right to report work-related incidents without fear of retaliation, clarifies that employers must have a reasonable procedure to report incidents that doesn’t discourage employees, and states that employers may not retaliate against employees for reporting work-related injuries or illnesses. These provisions will go into effect on August 10, 2016.
The new reporting requirements will go into effect on January 1, 2017 and will be phased in over a period of two years as follows:
- Employers with 250 or more employees, who are already required to report OSHA injury and illness records, must submit information from Form 300A by July 1, 2017, and must submit information from all forms (300A, 300, and 301) by July 1, 2018. Starting in 2019, information from all of the forms will need to be submitted by March 2.
- Employers with 20-249 employees, who are in certain high-risk industries, must submit information from Form 300A by July 1, 2017, and again by July 1, 2018. Starting in 2019, this information will need to be submitted by March 2.
A recent article by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) states that employers should continue to take every work-related injury or illness seriously, but should also use their judgment about whether it’s a reportable instance. The SHRM advises employers to avoid “over-reporting” incidents. Additionally, employers should ensure that the people who are filling out injury reports are properly trained.
For more information on OSHA’s final rule and how it will impact your business, contact McGrath Insurance Group at 508-347-6850 or visit www.mcgrathinsurance.com.
*This article is written for informational purposes only and should not be construed as providing legal advice.